Oil Price Reaches Top Level in Almost Eight Weeks

29 July, 2017, 00:55 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al Falih attends a meeting of the 4th OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee in St. Petersburg Russia

Crude oil prices settled higher in futures market on Thursday, as support from four weeks of falling US crude supplies contributed to a fourth-consecutive session of gains.

Earlier this week, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih indicated that OPEC's de facto leader and biggest producer Saudi Arabia would cut its crude exports to just 6.6 million barrels per day next month.

The price for September Futures Brent oil rose by 1,84% reaching $50,62 per barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The gains were the result of Wednesday's news from the Energy Information Agency of a 7.2 million barrel decline in US crude inventories in the week ending July 21, well above the 2.6 million barrel forecast, and the fourth consecutive week that inventories have fallen during a time of year when they normally increase.

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US oil prices surged toward the key $50 a barrel level this week, but the rally likely has little gas left in the tank, analysts say.

"Both markets are seeing a strong move in spreads through most of 2017 and 2018 due to shorts covering into heavy producer flow", said Scott Shelton, broker at ICAP in Durham, North Carolina.

The gains in Brent pushed the difference between the two benchmarks to the widest in two months.

"Overall, I think the bullish demand story is taking the headlines away from the supply story as products are strong globally when refinery runs are maxed and that implies that current demand expectations could be significantly below reality".

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USA crude and gasoline inventories fell much more steeply than expected in the latest week, while US refineries processed an average of nearly 17.3 million barrels of crude per day last week, up 620,000 bpd from the same week in 2016. The committee did not back capping Libyan output as it said its production was unlikely to exceed 1 million bpd in the near future compared to its capacity of 1.4 million-1.6 million bpd before unrest erupted in 2011 and plunged the nation into chaos.

However, some analysts' assessments of the oil market remained bearish.

"The market will likely be paying even more attention to drilling activity in the U.S.in the coming weeks, particularly after suggestions from certain industry players that the rig count in the U.S.is slowing", ING said in a research note on Wednesday.

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